HC Deb 18 January 1993 vol 217 c126W
Mr. Alison

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what scope exists for his intervention, other than on appeal from an applicant, to consider important environmental issues raised by an individual application for a waste disposal licence, such as those arising from the Gale Common stage II ash disposal application, details of which have been referred to him.

Mr. Maclean

[holding answer 14 January 1993]: The Control of Pollution Act 1974 provides that waste disposal operations may be carried out only in accordance with a licence issued by a waste regulation authority. Before a licence is issued, an authority must consult the National Rivers Authority. In the event of disagreement between the regulation authority and the National Rivers Authority, either party may refer the matter to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State may also become involved in a licensing issue if the matter is referred to hirn by an applicant for a licence, or the holder of a licence, on appeal.

These arrangements will continue when the present provisions in the 1974 Act are replaced by the licensing provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 on 1 April this year. A waste regulation authority will have to be satisfied that any applicant for a waste management licence is a fit and proper person. Grounds for rejecting a licence have been widened to include the prevention of pollution of the environment and serious detriment to the amenities of the locality. In addition, the 1990 Act provides that the Secretary of State may direct a waste regulation authority as to the terms and conditions to he included in a licence for which an application has been made to an authority.

The Secretary of State is aware of local concerns about the Gale Common stage II site and has asked the waste regulation authority to consider them before any licence is issued.